Feeding a Thirsty Man with a Fire Hose

I just returned from 2 weeks in China. I have been before, dealing with IP counterfeiting issues and transshipping issues. This trip was for fun, and we saw a lot of the country, by bicycle (in the South) and on foot (in the North). A friend emailed me while I was there, not knowing I was in China. I wrote back saying “now in the city of Wuzhou. I never heard of it either. It has twice as many people as Atlanta and more building cranes than I have ever seen, collectively, in my life”. That sums up China, for me. There are more than 160 cities with a population of more that 1 million people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_the_People’s_Republic_of_China_by_population

Think about that for a moment.

And they are growing. The PRC expressed grave concern over the downturn in their economy in 2011, since it expanded by “only” 7.8%. Double digits are expected this year. http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Is_China_recession_proof_2366

These people build superhighways 5 years before they are needed, apartment buildings by the hundreds, all toward a goal of moving 60 per cent of the population to the cities in a couple of decades. There, these folks will build cars, tablets, toys, geegaws, ships, you name it, to meet world demand. They are serious about it.

Take Wuzhou, for example. During my time there, my overriding thought was this: are the more than 1,000 people in the U.S. for whom Wuzhou is even in their consciousness? An American who has spent a lot of time in the manufacturing south of China said this to me: “we need the people running the US government to come to a place like Wuzhou to see what we are up against.”

Thus, the title of this post: feeding a thirsty man with a fire hose. The relentless effort for growth and modernization in China is impossible to comprehend, but they are doing it.


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